Something Is Very Wrong With Kanye West. He Cancels His Tour. (Video)
2016 has been a whirlwind ride for Kanye West, including #1 albums, game-changing music videos, armed robberies within his family—and that’s only some of the “highlights.” The Saint Pablo Tour—which corresponds to West’s February The Life of Pablo album has been making its rounds across the United States—featuring the artist on a suspended stage. Abruptly, the G.O.O.D. Music founder canceled all 21 remaining dates this morning (November 21).
While Kanye has not released a statement, the Def Jam Records-dispersed announcement comes following a strange 72 hours.
On Thursday night (November 17), Kanye told a crowd in San Jose, California about his political beliefs. “I told y’all I didn’t vote, right? But if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted [for Donald] Trump.” The musician’s statement was met with boos at the SAP Center. “I wanted to say that before the election, but they told me, ‘Whatever you do, don’t say that aloud.’ Not only did I not vote, but there were a lot of things I actually liked about Trump’s campaign,” West was quoted as saying, who later added: “His approach was fucking genius—because it worked.”
Jim Harrington, writer for the The Mercury News, documented more than just a political disconnect with the crowd. “The show started just before 10 p.m. and it only took 10 minutes to see that the 39-year-old rapper was headed in the wrong direction. He started out with ‘Famous’ [and] then quit a few lines in. He then restarted the number, only to stop again. And again. And again.” The journalist claimed many concertgoers were already headed for the exits, even as ‘Ye resumed playing highlights from his extensive musical catalog.
Two days later (November 19), in nearby Sacramento, California—West began his concert 90 minutes late, and performed only four songs—before ending the event. While only one handful of songs were performed, ‘Ye made time to speak his mind. “Beyoncé, I was hurt,” West began, from the stage, according to Us Weekly. “I am putting my career, my life [and] my public standing at risk when I talk to y’all like this. This is a moment in the matrix, bro. … Beyoncé, I was hurt because I hear that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year [at the 2016 MTV VMAs] over me and over [Drake’s] ‘Hotline Bling.’ … Sometimes we be playing the politics too much and forget who we are just to win.” Again, West referenced Trump, comparing himself to the US President-Elect, for his recent actions.
Kanye then made his speech about his mentor and Watch The Throne partner Jay Z, who happens to be Beyoncé’s husband. “I been sent here to give y’all my truth even at the risk of my own life. Even at the risk of my own success. My own career. I’ve been sent here to give y’all the truth.” West said. “Jay Z, call me bruh! You still ain’t call me. Jay Z, call me. Ay’ bruh, I know you got killers; please don’t send ‘em at my head, just call me. Talk to me like a man.”
Elsewhere in the concert, West responded to some stunned and booing concertgoers. “You don’t like that. Guess what? Y’all need the vibes. I was hurt. Feelings matter, bro. The way mothafuckas put money up so high. Popularity. Radio spins. Feelings matter, bruh.” West again weaved his statements to politics and peers. “It’s a new world, Hillary Clinton. It’s a new world. Feelings matter. Because guess what? Everybody in middle America felt a way, and they showed you how they felt.” Moments later, he added, “It’s a new world Barack. It’s a new world Jay Z. Hey, don’t send killers at my head, bro, this ain’t the Malcolm X movie. We’re growing from that moment. Let ‘Ye be ‘Ye.” He also criticized radio programmers for over-playing DJ Khaled & Drake’s Akinyele homage, “For Free.”
One day later (November 20), Kanye West canceled his Los Angeles, California date at The Forum—three hours before showtime. The announcement came, via the venue’s social media account, without further explanation. Following this announcement, West posted 99 photographs to Instagram—apparently related to the creator’s fashions interests.
Over the weekend, more than a few Kanye West friends and peers tried to reach the star—though Beyoncé and Jay Z remain to be confirmed. Yesterday, Talib Kweli, who was pivotal in West’s production career thanks to 2002’s “Get By,” tweeted at his friend and collaborator. He expressed “love” and appreciation, but was concerned about West’s political thoughts, urging him to “come home”:
Kweli has worked with Kanye as recently as 2007’s Eardrum album. Snoop Dogg, who has also worked with West, dismissed his actions—suggesting that something other than “weed” would prompt that behavior.
This same weekend, Surface magazine published its recent interview with West. The artist made a number of strong remarks about collaboration, race, and his own career. The 39 year also spoke about coolness as it pertains to age. “More people need to know that they’re not fucking cool. In today’s world, having money has allowed people who are extremely uncool to think that they’re cool and carry it like that. People who really are cool and people who really are artists and have ideas have to literally turn in their cool card to society just to make it past the age of 28. It’s either die at 28 or turn in your cool pass.”
Jay Z, Beyoncé, Drake, and DJ Khaled have not publicly responded to Kanye West’s recent remarks.
Tickets for Kanye’s canceled Saint Pablo Tour dates will be refunded at their point-of-purchase.